DOCK WORKER BARRED FROM WATERFRONT AFTER FRAMING CO-WORKER FOR A CRIME THAT HE DID NOT COMMIT AND POSSESSING CHILD’S URINE TO OBSTRUCT POST-ACCIDENT DRUG TESTING
December 12, 2017
Today, the Commission unanimously ordered the revocation of the registration of longshore worker Courtney Wallace. Wallace’s registration has been suspended by the Commission since April 2016 following her arrest at Maher Terminals for, among other charges, Witness Tampering, a crime of the third degree. On August 24, 2016, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Union County, Wallace pled guilty to Witness Tampering, admitting that she planned with two others to falsely implicate another longshoreman for a crime he did not commit – an assault with a firearm.
Following her criminal conviction, Wallace appeared at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to determine whether the Commission should revoke her registration as a longshore worker. Evidence presented during the hearing indicated that Wallace falsely implicated the other longshoreman in a crime by coordinating false 911 calls, making a false statement to law enforcement, and instructing others to lie to law enforcement.
Following the hearing, the ALJ recommended that the Commission revoke Wallace’s registration. The ALJ noted that Wallace “essentially led a criminal conspiracy” as she “persistently pursued a malicious plan with others to commit an outrageous crime.” The ALJ found that Wallace “possessed a dangerous willingness and power to draw others into her calculated crime, without regard for the consequences to them, let alone the object of her ire.” The ALJ found that the arrest of the other longshoreman “on the false charge of assault with a firearm posed obvious inherent dangers to him and the police during the process of his arrest and detention.”
In addition, the ALJ found that Wallace “engaged in another scheme of deception to bypass rules in order to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior, the use of controlled substances while registered as a longshoreman.” In a search incident to arrest at Maher Terminals, a container of urine was recovered from Wallace. She admitted that she carried her son’s clean urine with her so that she would pass post-accident drug tests at work. The ALJ found that Wallace’s “conduct flagrantly disregarded workplace rules designed for the safety of everyone at the waterfront.”
The ALJ concluded that Wallace’s presence on the piers or other waterfront terminals posed a danger to the public peace or safety. Today, the Commission adopted the ALJ’s recommendation to revoke Wallace’s registration as a longshore worker.
The case against Wallace was prosecuted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.